|When selling your home, there are many variables that are involved that need to be considered. Neglecting these same variables can possibly cause your home to be on the market for a longer time frame than need be. Price for your location – Amount of Advertising – Home’s Appearance – Sales Tactics – Negotiating the Sale – etc…
1) Sale Price – Pricing comparable homes in your immediate area helps give you a better idea of what price to ask for your home. “Comparable” is a word that a lot of sellers confuse with “similar”… Similar homes are not quite comparable – total finished square feet, age, updates, lot size, garage size, amenities, and many other factors must be considered when deciding if the home is a “comparable” property.
If you cannot find a comparable property in your immediate area, consider getting an professional appraisal of the property. Even though you are going to have to spend some money to have this done, a professional appraisal will aid you in setting the price as well as give you a tool when bargaining with the potential buyer. A homeowner that has had a recent appraisal, can state “Price below appraisal!” or when a potential buyer makes an offer, the homeowner can let the buyer see the appraisal and therefore reassure the buyer that the home is priced correctly. * A note about appraisals vs fair market analysis – An appraisal is much more valuable than a fair market analysis. When you receive a fair market analysis, it cannot be used to replace the appraisal value a loan institution will demand when the homeowner has accepted an offer. The appraisal will need to be done and it’s results will be one of the major determining factors if the bank will loan the buyer the money for the home. All too many times have I seen a sale go bad because the appraisal was lower than the sale price. There are instances where the appraisal was higher than the homeowner’s asking price – thus letting the homeowner consider selling at a higher price and making the best of their investment.
2) Avoid Ego driven sales tactics – Unfortunately we all would like to believe our home is worth more and that it’s appearance is appealing to everyone. This is not always the case (Sometimes, it is). Ask friends to be completely honest with you about the appearance and price you have chosen. Let them know that you will not hold it against them, rather you trust their opinion and would like their advice. Do not take what they say as an insult if their views are different from your own. They are your friends and generally will not mislead you….get several opinions (as they will vary). If they let you know that your kitchen is dark and gloomy – consider painting it a bright color or adding lighting to complement the room. Constructive criticism can be very helpful.
3) Trying to sell without spending any money (or little money) – The reason people sell by owner is to save money. If you are selling by owner, you must understand that it takes advertising to help bring potential buyers to your door. If you were to use a professional’s services, one of the first things they are going to do is spend money advertising your home (This can accumulate to a good portion of their commission depending on how long the home is for sale). Most professionals will put ads in the local newspapers, flyers in an info-tube, place a sign in your yard, arrows signs directing traffic from local streets, add your listing to the MLS database, and have your home photographed and presented on the internet. They will also hold several open houses on weekends.
So if you are going to try to sell your home by yourself – you will gain the best results by advertising the exact same way the professionals do. Experience has proven to them that this is most effective. The only thing you cannot do is add your home to the MLS database. If you are saving thousands in this way, you need to consider spending a portion of what you are saving to get the results you need.
Select your advertising carefully
Be sure to select your advertising carefully – there are several ways to advertise your home without spending a small fortune. Always ask if the advertising company has restrictions or a contract that may take some of your options away. You’d be surprised – some of these companies have very ridiculous contracts that restrict you in the worst ways…
Newspaper ads are typically old fashion. With the internet’s ease of use, virtually unlimited space capacity, and low overhead – print advertising just isn’t what it used to be. Most buyers are turning to the internet to view numerous photos and information about properties for sale. Sites that build a good presentation of your home will give the potential buyer far more information than could be reasonably accomplished by a print ad. Although you may still obtain a lead or two via newspaper advertising, if they do not allow you to work your internet advertising together with the print ad – they are not keeping your best interests at heart. Certain papers view internet advertising as competition and will not allow you to add the internet address to your ad. At that point, you have to ask yourself if you believe it is worth spending a lot more on that small print ad compared to your internet ad. Other papers have developed their own internet advertising site that you can add your own photos & details. This comes at a price.. and you have to look at these sites very carefully. If they do not offer free professional photography with initial purchase, or write the descriptions for you – your ad may fall short of it’s objective “Building the intrigue to bring potential buyers to the home”. The photos & details are the most important part of advertising – they must create an inviting taste to do their job. Amateur photos & descriptions can hinder or actually “do more harm than good”.
The same careful consideration needs to be made when selecting a company to place photos and details of your home on the internet. Some of these companies will have you sign a contract that restricts your options such as listing with a realtor or advertising on other websites. These companies are not looking out for your best interests – only their own. There is no need for a contract when placing your home on the internet. No advertising company should ever be so bold as to tell you where you can and cannot advertise nor do they have the right to take away your choice of listing with a realtor if you choose to do so. These companies are the same ones that drive their business with deceptive statistical banners, over exaggerated hit counts, and claims of selling millions of dollars worth of homes. They do not sell homes – they advertise homes! In most states it is illegal to claim to have sold homes without a real estate license or brokers license. Unfortunately, these companies use their contracts and deceptive hype to drive their business – they are not working to help you sell your home – they are working to make money – any way they can – regardless of your misunderstanding of their restrictions and banners – period.
Our site does not require a contract, nor will we ever tell you that you cannot list with a realtor or advertise on other websites. We work for the client – advertising in order to help sell the home! If you choose to list with a realtor we will change your contact information over to that of your realtor. You will not loose any advertising time you paid for. Advertising your home on our site is cost effective – non restrictive – and you will know we are honest about our profession. We are here to help you – not restrict you.
4) Ask yourself questions – Will you accept a contingency? What will be your rock bottom price be? Will you sell on contract? Will you give an allowance for any repairs? How long are you willing to wait to sell your home? How much are you willing to spend on advertising and for how long? Are you willing to put forth the time and effort of having open houses, keeping the home’s appearance up, and providing constant advertising?
5) Make a Plan – Create a schedule that you can live with that will indicate it is time to amend your sales tactics.
Examples: “In two weeks if our home is still for sale – Have Open Houses every weekend”
“After one month, if our home is still for sale – “Reduce price $X amount of dollars”
“After two months, if our home is still for sale – Offer an allowance to help with closing costs or overdue repairs.”
*These are only examples of a schedule and should not be a guideline for your personal circumstances.
“You” know what you are willing to do to get the sale completed. “You” should determine what must be done and when.
6) Negotiating the Sale Price – If you have an offer on your home that you cannot live with, do not be insulted. The buyer may simply be using the “Insult first – get bottom price” tactic that we all know they sometimes use. Instead, consider a counter bid that is either lower than your asking price or maybe include the appliances in the deal. Maybe offering an allowance for an overdue repair.
I ran into a situation a few years ago where a seller was given an offer and she was so insulted, she hung up on the potential buyer. After telling me this, I advised her to call the people back, apologize, and present a counter offer (A price she had already known she would sell for). Needless to say – They signed papers accepting the counter offer that night.
Be pleasant to your potential buyers – even if they are not pleasant to you. This is business – no personal emotions should be involved.
You can be successful in selling your home if you are willing to put forth the time and effort necessary.
Price your property effectively, Advertise, and try to keep your emotions out of the deal….